Gloves of the skin of a fish...

Fish fingers anyone?
I envisaged elbow length evening gloves shimmering with golden scales not golf gloves but still they are gloves of the skin of a fish - and look at the lovely leather! I want to order some and get to work on a pair of fish finger gloves for my little lady hands. It can be made made from carp, salmon or perch and apparently does not smell in the least bit unpleasant. It's a great way to make use of the skin,which would otherwise be wasted. I see a range of fishy accessories swimming off my sewing machine - bags, mermaids' purses, slippers. There is no time to waste - its the 29th February tomorrow. Sieze the day or should that be Carpe Dyem.


Spidersilk cape? Pah! A thistledown coat is what you need...

If spider silk makes you yarn, and you think a seal-gut parka is offal (like these puns) then The Thistledown Coat by Adrian Bannon is for you. Dandelion seeds held together with fine filaments create a jacket that the fairies might have made. Now I need to find the other garment mentioned in Donal Og - the poem that was an inspiration for my book - gloves of the skin of a fish...


Lend me your ears...

I'd forgotten how wonderful it is to be read to.  The White Rabbit's "Are you Sitting Comfortably", performed in Jackson's Lane Community Centre, turned out to be a really brilliant evening. Bernadette Russell and Gareth Brierley were superb performers sucking you in with their characterisations and creating a magical, intimate atmosphere even though we were in a sizeable theatre space. Stories of dying angels, mysterious villains, demon gangsters and sealed fates would, I think, have satisfied Dickens although he wouldn't have known what a neon-coloured tracksuit was.  Amanda Hadingue from Theatre de Complicite read my story and she did it so well she made me weep and I wrote the bloody thing! The teacups of sweets and literary pass-the-parcel went down a treat too.


You gotta have guts to wear this....

Continuing my garments made from unusual animal products...an Alaskan seal gut parka, and it's decorated with BIRD SKIN strips (you knew I'd get it in somewhere). There is one of these at my favourite museum - The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford - which is all a museum should be  - glass mahogany-edged cases crammed with gorgeous unidentifiable objects with fascinating provenances. Their parka is edged with the finest braids woven out of reindeer hair. The seal gut sections are sewn in strips to make a translucent, lightweight waterproof garment - now you can't get one of those in Millets.


How to make words fly off the page

Words turn into butterflies, a book becomes a forest of birds, a dress takes flight - paper artist Su Blackwell makes you gasp.


What to wear with those Birdskin Shoes - a spider silk cape!

Eight legs good - two legs bad. Okay so it does look like Fr. Patrick's favourite outfit - but it really is spider silk - not just any spider, the Golden Orb spider of Madagascar, with a body as big as a 50p piece and silk the colour of gold doubloons. It's the colour that is the most extraordinary thing - Rumpelstiltskin came to mind when I saw the skeins of thread, or the shiney petals of buttercups. One million spiders, four years, each thread made of 24 strands of silk.  They've never been able to farm spiders because they eat each other if there are too many in one place - a metaphor for modern urban living if ever I heard one.


New event

I've got a story into an event, "Are you sitting comfortably" at Jackson's Lane Community Centrre in Archway Thursday 23rd Feb 8pm,
Box office 020 8341 4421 or book online at www.jacksonslane.org.uk
Inspired by Dickens, the company creates a show performed by actors around stories selected by them - I've not seen any of their shows but was told by a friend that they are wonderful.
"fantastic alternative fun" Time Out
"storytelling made supremely sexy" Latest 7 ****
"comic..haunting..an enchanted night" Total Theatre ****


Shoes for birds...

Wow these shoes by Israeli designer Kobi Levi really are birdskin Shoes - well inspired by birds, I think the mallards are for me... his others are equally amazing - I do love a whacky shoe though I don't think these would help my character on the tightrope.